Archived entries for Architecture

Planning for a Refinery Turnaround


A turnaround project is planned for months, sometimes years in advance. Refineries occasionally need to shut down in order to perform routine maintenance. It’s more cost effective in some cases to conduct this maintenance at once. In other situations, it would be impossible for the plant to function if even a small portion of it was taken offline.

Because of that down time, and the potential for millions in lost revenue, construction & turnaround services are crucial components of a successful refinery operation.

Turnarounds Explained

A turnaround occurs when a refinery needs preventative maintenance, or an upgrade. Turnaround operations often have to meet strict regulations from the government, which requires construction consulting services that are trained in engineering or waste disposal.

Turnarounds are typical every three to five years, but can occur on a faster frequency depending on the kind of refinery. If a turnaround isn’t conducted, a shutdown is likely due to some kind of failure. Why don’t companies just wait for the next failure to repair?

Too many variables. If that failure causes an explosion, it could cause major losses in personnel or affect other equipment on the site.


Turnarounds can be completed in just a few weeks if the crew is skilled enough at their jobs, and all materials are available. However, a turnaround doesn’t end when the crew packs up. There are inspections and tests that need to be run on the refinery before it’s proven safe for work again.

Bio: For more than 40 years, Lyle Charles has helped businesses with commercial and residential construction projects. Lyle Charles Consulting is available to expedite your construction claim.



Gothic Architecture in France

By French Experience

No matter when you plan on paying a visit to France, there are always a few things you can expect. Almost all France vacations involve pleasant weather, amazing food and wine and beautiful architecture that’s hundreds of years old.

Most of the historic architecture in France is considered Gothic. It originated at around 1140 and remained prevalent in France until roughly 1500. The most popular example of this architecture may be the Notre-Dame de Chartres, but there are countless other structures throughout France that show off one of the four different Gothic styles. These include early Gothic, high Gothic, Rayonnant and Late Gothic.

Aside from Notre-Dame, you can visit the Palaise des Papes and the Conciergerie for other sites that are built in the Gothic style.

The style has a number of notable features. One is that it has very dynamic lines that often taper into peaks pointing toward the sky. Most buildings have a number of such points. Archways are also an important and prevalent feature too. Many buildings feature arches within arches within arches. You’ll also notice stained-glass windows all throughout the cathedrals.

So during your trip to France, make sure you take in some beautiful gothic architecture.


As the name makes clear, French Experience is all about taking customers on an unforgettable trip that will leave them immersed in the culture and beauty of this beautiful country. Whether you want to go on Paris vacations or see any other part of France, they’re the company to contact.

Kinderspital by Herzog and De Meuron

Herzog & de Meuron win design competition for the new Children’s Hospital in Zurich


Visualizations are by Bloomimages.

“The design for the Children’s hospital envisions two complementary buildings of contrasting typology, programme and urban design, that are nevertheless geometrically related.
The main hospital building serves the examination and treatment of children and adolescents, while the teaching and research centre serves scientific work and mediation.
The Children’s Hospital takes the form of a 3-storey building arranged around a series of courtyards like a small, introspective town. In-patients, out-patients and their relatives can move around as freely as possible between the different treatment areas. The 3-storey reflects the desire to create a child-friendly building, reminiscent in both scale and materiality of pavilion-style structures, and differs the usual hospital stereotype. Architecture and nature are interwoven here. The interior courtyards open up intermittently to the outside, allowing daylight to permeate the low, deep building.

Each of the three floors has a dedicated function, reflected in the layout of the rooms, and designed to provide maximum flexibility. Examination, treatment rooms and laboratories are located on the ground floor, as are the therapeutic facilities and the restaurant, while the doctors’ offices are situated on the first floor, and the wards on the top floor. Overlaying these three “ideal” geometries creates spatial variety and orientation. Wood is the predominant material of the facades and interiors, creating a more domestic atmosphere for children, their parents and hospital staff. The use of wood also echoes the rural surroundings of the Lengg district.
The Centre for Teaching and Research, a tall and round freestanding building, is positioned in an open space in the center of the health campus comprising several different clinics. It is an obviously public building in which everything revolves around scientific research and its dissemination. Six floors of research laboratories and offices are hovering above a kind of agora comprised of auditoria and seminar rooms. A central courtyard, also circular, follows the course of the sun.
Although the two building types are typologically different, they are architecturally related. Both feature an overlay of rectangular and circular geometries. In the children’s hospital, the circle is used to interfere the right-angled basic order and to mark specific areas of the building: points of orientation, sub-centres, meeting points, transitional areas. The round teaching and research centre is a meeting point in its own right, forming a sub-centre on the hospital campus. Within its circular shell, the rooms are arranged at right angles.”

Herzog & de Meuron, 2012

Herzog & de Meuron Team
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger (Partner in Charge)
Project Architects: Mark Bähr (Project Manager), Jason Frantzen (Associate)
Project Team: Alexandria Algard, Maximilian Beckenbauer, Alexander Franz, Ondrej Janku, Christoph Jantos, Johannes Kohnle, Severin Odermatt, Blanca Bravo Reyes, Raúl Torres Martin, Mika Zacharias
Kinderspital Zürich – Eleonorenstiftung, Zurich, Switzerland


“El Hospital de Niños tiene la forma de un edificio de 3 plantas dispuestos en torno a una serie de patios, como una pequeña ciudad, introspectivo.

Los pacientes ingresados, pacientes ambulatorios y sus familiares pueden moverse tan libremente como sea posible entre las diferentes zonas de tratamiento. En sus tres plantas se refleja el deseo de crear un edificio favorable a los niños. Arquitectura y naturaleza se entrelazan aquí. Los patios interiores se abren de forma intermitente a la luz del dí­a, para permitir un edificio bajo y profundo.

Cada una de las tres plantas tienen una función especí­fica, que se refleja en la distribución de las habitaciones, y está diseñado para proporcionar la máxima flexibilidad.
Examenes, salas de tratamiento y laboratorios están ubicados en la planta baja, al igual que las instalaciones terapéuticas y el restaurante, mientras que las oficinas de los médicos se encuentran en el primer piso, y las salas en la planta superior.

La superposicin de estas tres geometrí­as crea la variedad y la orientacin espacial. La madera es el material predominante de las fachadas y los interiores, creando un ambiente más doméstico para los niños, sus padres y el personal del hospital. El uso de la madera también se hace eco con el entorno rural de la zona de Lengg.

El Centro para la Enseñanza y la Investigación, un edificio independiente, alto y redondo, se coloca en el centro del espacio abierto y comprende varias clínicas diferentes. Se trata de un edificio público, obviamente, en el que todo gira en torno a la investigación científica y su difusión. Seis pisos de laboratorios de investigación y oficinas están flotando por encima de una especie de ágora que consta de salas auditorios y seminarios. Un patio central, que es circular, sigue el curso del sol.

Aunque los dos tipos de edificios son tipológicamente diferentes, son arquitectónicamente relacionados. Ambos cuentan con la superposición de geometrías rectangulares y circulares.

En el hospital de niños, el círculo se usa para interferir en el orden básico en ángulo recto y marcar las áreas específicas del edificio: los puntos de orientación, sub-centros, puntos de encuentro, áreas de transición. El centro de la ronda, la enseñanza y la investigación es un punto de encuentro en su propio derecho, formando un sub-centro en el campus del hospital. Dentro de su caparazón circular, las habitaciones están dispuestas en todos los ángulos.”

New Helsinki Waterfront by DCPP Studio

This is an interesting project for the city of Helsinki, meets the same as other interventions port.

Resource Palette appears dominated by large open areas, balconies, galleries, half-buried passages, clear and strong intention to emphasize the edge of the water and especially the free projection of the city towards the sea. These data indicate the need to see these cities to recover a vital element such as water, transferred to other interests in the past.
I guess we can take note and assume that architects here have as well.


Helsinki, Finlandia
190,345 m2

From architects:

“The South Harbour district of Helsinki needs to reclaim its connection to the sea. In doing so it will offer much-needed revitalization to a local community, and provide the city an architectural symbol that proclaims its status as cultural capital.

With this in mind, we sought to create a dynamic urban zone that is an edge condition between the natural and the artificial environment. Our proposal is an urban spine which acts as a nexus for three primary systems: water, parks, and built environment. Each system interpenetrates into its adjacencies, creating a dynamic and fluid urban stage that allows for multiple tempos and maximum performance.


Continue reading…

King’s Cross Station in London by John McAslan and Partners

Here’s some more information from John McAslan + Partners:


The new Western Concourse at King’s Cross opens to the public on Monday 19th March 2012.


“With this multi-phased development now complete, the significance of the King’s Cross Station redevelopment is finally revealed. The transformation of King’s Cross Station for Network Rail involves three very different styles of architecture: re-use, restoration and new build. The train shed and range buildings have been adapted and re-used, the station’s previously obscured Grade I listed façade is being precisely restored, and a new, highly expressive Western Concourse has been designed as a centrepiece and the ‘beating heart’ of the project. When the station opens to the public next Monday, 19 March, King’s Cross will become a new, iconic architectural gateway to the city, ready for the 2012 London Olympics.


John McAslan + Partners began work on the project in 1998 and established the overall master-plan for the development in 2005. As a result the practice has played a key role in the wider transformation of the King’s Cross area – infrastructural, social and commercial changes that now connect the station with the massive King’s Cross Central scheme north of the station as well as to St Pancras, the London Underground, and the surrounding urban context. The architectural ambition of JMP’s scheme has been to create a new iconic landmark that will function as a key catalyst for the ongoing regeneration of this new London quarter as well as providing striking new facilities that will accommodate the 50 million passengers now passing through the station each year.”

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Gran Casino Costa Brava

The Gran Casino Costa Brava is located in the old gardens of the Grand Hotel Monterrey, in the center of Lloret de Mar (Girona), and is based on a singular architectural and environmental study signed by the b720 Arquitectos, led by Fermín Vázquez .

Continue reading…

Cool Pool

Excellent swimming pool located on a rocky shore.

I wonder how up from the last level? at least here there is no ladder

Excelente piscina ubicada sobre una costa rocosa.

¿Me pregunto cómo suben desde el último nivel? por lo menos aquí­ no se ve ninguna escalera 🙂


Coloring the wall with Amirko

Amirkhan Abdurakhmanov (better known as Amirko) has come up with this simple but dynamic wall decor idea for transforming an ordinary surface into a do-it-yourself design canvas that lets you set the tone (or tones) depending on your mood.


El mismo muro para una casi interminable combinación de diseños. Genial invento para un gran concepto.

La idea del muro pixelado que ya se ha visto antes (desde ladrillos en distintas tonalidades hasta el revestimiento completo de paredes con post-it de colores) transformado en algo dinámico y abierto mediante unos sencillos dispositivos.

Excelente idea del amigo Amirko